This is a lengthy post so grab a cuppa.
We arrived by train which is a much better way to transition into another area of a country and to give some perspective. Locals traveling with us were in a pretty good mood, so I am guessing they were on holiday. Our train, not the famous bullet train, went very fast and extremely smoothly through the countryside.
We had been provided lunch by our guide, but the train also had lovely ladies coming through with hot and cold items. Click on photos for larger view as usual.
Our train actually got up to 308 km which is over 191 miles per hour. Not a single shake or ear pop or even much increase in noise!
We crossed rice fields as we left Guilin, the karst area of southern China.
And in a couple of hours after two stops we were entering the Hong Kong District, one country and two governments.
Now for a brief history and essential rant. They have another few years before they are supposed to be totally melded into mainland China rules and laws. If you are following the protests closely, you know that the young people are willing to die to prevent this, and I am afraid this may happen! I am guessing they remember Hong Kong's form of democracy based on the British rule. If you want to know how all this started in 2014 you can go to this or this link and read the history. It is complicated but seems to have begun with the disappearance of a number of booksellers in Hong Kong who sold books critical of the mainland government, which was legal to criticize your government as Hong Kong had freedom of the press. A few managers of the bookstore called wives from mainland China saying they were on business for some time and to excuse their sudden disappearance. They all never came back. Governments that are fascist are good at making citizens disappear or putting them in jail under false accusations and suppressing freedom of the press by claiming it is false news rather than bringing facts to argue...sound familiar? You cannot rule with an iron fist if the press spews out facts against you.
If you are following the U. S. impeachment hearings the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was told she had better watch her back when she said to her supervisors that she was confused by Guiliana's work in Ukraine without him going through normal channels ...she received vague threats with no specific comments on how she could improve doing her job. This is what mobsters do. (Those two Russian/Americans, friends of this U.S. administration, that were arrested at an airport with one-way tickets out of the country a while back, were involved in this false effort.)
This year mainland China stated they were going to extradite people who had been arrested and send them to the mainland for trial. That set off a major eruption of protestors. There are rumors that some mainland Chinese are being paid to enter Hong Kong and incite more violent protests to make the real protestors look like terrorists. Also, mainland soldiers are now being stationed at the border. History in the making is breathtaking.
OK, now back to my trip. In just a little while we crossed closer to the water and began to see the industrial shipping areas that Hong Kong is famous for. They used to be the number one port on the globe, but now they are 4th with other mainland China ports being more active and bringing in more money.
|Can you see the high rises in the distance across the suspension bridge?|
In no time we were into the city of high rises and gleaming buildings. There were just a dozen of us that took this extended tour and we were amazed at how the two luggage porters could accommodate those of us (NOT ME!) who had to have tons of luggage with them.
Once again lots of high rises where people live!
Below are two photos of the central promenade which we walked to from our hotel, once we got settled. Earlier protests had occurred here although we saw no damage. At the time we were there most protests were happening on the weekend and we did not see any part of it. The University is a bit of a distance from here as well. You can see local tourists below.
Our guide was barely subdued in his anger at the protestors and how they were pushing Hong Kong into a recession. He said that the hotel rooms were now going for 1/3 of their usual prices making people who lived there say it was cheaper than their rent. Since he made his living in the tourist industry, it clearly impacted his earnings. That is the cost of freedom. What is freedom worth?
Well, I do hope someday to return to Hong Kong and see a much more in-depth tour of the city. I may have a friend moving there for the U.S. government in the coming year, so maybe I will go visit them! Thanks for reading all the way to the end, and now you can reheat your tea.